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Roker Ramble: The great Chinese takeaway - time for Gareth Bale & Newcastle to head far east?

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What to do if no-one loves you, if no-one wants you, and if the place you love is beset by strife and torment. Fear not, it’s the Ramble - we have the answers…

Real Madrid v Arsenal - 2019 International Champions Cup
I feel if I could just get rid of this dreadful vest, people would like me more....
Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Gareth Bale has no mates. He’s friendless, without love, stranded in a foreign land seeking an escape. His team mates don’t even like him. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said he didn’t attend a team meal because ‘he didn’t want to miss his bedtime’.

Something which I can kind of sympathise with. I don’t know Courtois personally but he’s another one who has a thing for small yappy dogs, so maybe an early night was a good option.

His manager doesn’t like him either:

I fart in his general direction.

He didn’t actually say that, but I felt that by slightly misquoting Python at this time would convey the depth of feeling surrounding the situation. What he actually said was:

We hope he leaves soon. It would be best for everyone.

Real Madrid CF v Real Betis Balompie - La Liga
‘Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries’
Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Which isn’t exactly open to misinterpretation. What’s pretty obvious from all the noise coming out of Madrid is that Bale, to put it succinctly, is probably a bit of a knob. But a very wealthy knob, and thereby hangs the tale.

If he was willing to drop his salary demands - from a million pounds a minute to something a little more reasonable - then things would start to open up for him. There’s a resurgence in Welsh football at the moment with Welsh clubs that no-ones ever heard of doing well in Europe. Bale could spearhead that resurgence whilst at the same time sending a clear message to the footballing world that a just cause is more important than money, and as a lasting reward, having a by-pass around Newport named after him.

But he won’t. He’s due to earn £100 million over the next three years if he stays at Madrid, and he’s not going to budge from that unless someone can match the offer. And whilst he’s been linked to some big clubs, no-one else in their right mind is going to pay that sort of money for a player of his age, with his hair and injury record. And who’s a bit of a knob.

FBL-EURO-2020-QUALIFIER-HUN-WAL
‘To wear it on the top or down the back?’
Photo credit should read ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images

So as things stand there looks to be only one option – the footballing world of obscurity that is the Chinese Super League, where the local populace seem to dote on him.

They still seem to have huge sums of money to fling around, and since they do have a history of sending pandas over here to find mates, it seems the least we can do is to reciprocate as far as we can.

Since we’re shipping stuff out east to disappear from daily view, we could do worse than look at Andy Carroll joining Bale in the mystic orient. Released by West Ham and now searching for a club, who could resist the ‘Bale-Carroll partnership’ or the ‘Pony-Tail Twins’ lighting up the Super League? They could have adjacent beds in the treatment room.

Southampton v West Ham United - Premier League
It was the double ponytail that first attracted me to him....
Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

The trouble is that Carroll apparently has his heart set on returning to Newcastle. But alas, things are not good at the troubled club. Spiky Mike still can’t sell, and the long suffering fans are less than enamoured with the Rafa replacement:

Steve Bruce is an unambitious appointment by an unambitious owner. To go from a world-class manager in Rafa Benítez, who brought stability and unity to the club, to Steve Bruce in the space of six weeks is beyond disappointing.

Hurtful - doesn’t anyone ever consider the feelings of the individuals concerned anymore? And the comment about the ‘stability and unity’ threw me a bit - I didn’t notice the ‘Ashley Out’ burblings acquiescing at all during Rafa’s reign?

Anyway, the revolutionary fervour that accompanied the appointment manifested itself in a demonstration outside the Sports Direct store in Newcastle that about six people attended before they realised it was actually a bus queue and nothing was actually happening at all.

Newcastle United v Leicester City - Premier League
By now the bus queue was getting rowdy.
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

But we have a solution that solves all the problems, for everyone, and you can thank us later. Spikey Mike needs to sell the club... to the Chinese.

They’d love it, owning a high profile Premier League club, full of history, won a trophy once, AND they’ve just been over there for pre-season.... just the job.

Now the crux – they ship the franchise over to play in the Super League.

Newcastle United playing in China – fabulous, what’s not to like? Mike Ashley is now out of the club, there’s plenty of money around, and they could even get Rafa back as manager if they pay him enough. They could get Andy Carroll back in the shirt and, who knows, maybe even with ‘honoury geordie’ Gareth alongside him. And there are plenty of precedents for a move of this sort – in North America they relocate franchises all the time and, of course, look at Wimbledon to Milton Keynes.

And this would be the answer to those supporters left behind. Firstly, they’ve got the mother of all issues to protest about now, one that’ll keep them going for years and create more martyrs than Nero’s persecution of the early Christians, and secondly, they can create a new team from scratch – ‘AFC Newcastle’ or whatever, have it just as they like and start to build a new legacy from the ground up. And Steve Bruce would be out of work – they could have one of their own as their first manager.

There we go - solving the world’s problems, one at a time.